Highly-rated Arsenal defender Harry Clarke has made the move to League Two Oldham Athletic on loan, signing a deal which will see him stay at Boundary Park until January 20.
The 19-year-old signed a new long-term contract with the Gunners back in December of 2019 and played an instrumental part in the U23s Premier League 2 campaign, most recently captaining the U21s against Crawley in an EFL Trophy win.
A ball-playing defender, he has trained with Mikel Arteta’s senior team and makes the move to Lancashire to gain Football League experience.
Clarke will partner experienced defender Carl Piergianni with David Wheater ousted from the squad over contractual disputes.
Oldham have struggled defensively so far this season and Clarke’s addition could help Harry Kewell’s side to progress from their current position at the bottom of the League Two table.
Right-back Sido Jombati has previously been employed in the centre of a back four, causing defensive liabilities in a non-natural position.
With Piergianni behind him for cover, Clarke will provide the ball-playing ability needed for in the team and will gain valuable minutes in a competitive division which should hopefully help him to progress in his career.
As well as a number of experienced heads, he will feature alongside Cameron Borthwick-Jackson, Alfie McCalmont, Zak Dearnley and Callum Whelan as players with Premier League 2 experience looking to make the step into senior football. Under the stewardship of Champions League winner Kewell, it could be an excellent opportunity for him to further his development.
His first game will likely come on Tuesday against Scunthorpe United at Boundary Park, with the deal not completed in time for him to feature on Saturday against the Trotters.